A growing population of African immigrants who represent the future workforce of Minnesota are coming to Minnesota for a better life - many of whom are educated and skilled. Most African immigrants are coming from their respective countries because of political crisis. Others are settled in the US through Diversity Lottery and family reunification opportunities provided by immigration laws. As a result, these African immigrants bring diverse skills and experiences. The Minnesota Africans United (MAU) grew out of the need to promote diversity, prosperity, and create a united voice to influence public policy that will serve the interest of the African immigrants in Minnesota.
Leaders who represent African nations from Somalia, Cameroon, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo grouped themselves together at North Hennepin Community College on June 19, 2017. They identified the challenges facing African immigrants living in Minnesota and the needs of the African continent. To articulate their voices, the leaders engaged themselves around the idea of closing opportunity gaps for immigrant populations from Africa living in Minnesota and then brought their voices to the Minnesota State legislature, Governor’s office, state agencies, corporate America, city councils, and counties.
Their aspiration was to set up an umbrella organization to aim at strengthening individual communities representing the 54 African nations in Minnesota; to guide policy discussions, help communities understand each other and find a common ground on which to stand and support each other and educate greater Minnesota. By coming together as a group, they have increased education, empowerment around important issues, civic engagement, and education.
The organization's vision is to bring African voices closer to the government, to make sure Minnesotans are aware of African communities, engage political leaders and businesses, and promote allies who support African immigrants.